This audacious and enjoyable hour is akin to a dinner party where your brilliant dramaturge friend does an enthusiastic, spur-of-the-moment, speed-improv conversation about his favorite book.
Brad is naturally engaging, and as if this whole endeavor wasn’t ridiculous enough already, he adds a bit of simple interactivity with the audience that helps keep him on his toes.
Ultimately it’s not so much a retelling of the fifteen chapters, 600+ characters, and seven-year plot of the book, so much as a heartfelt, literary-nerd love letter to its sprawling emotion and enduring resonance. Unexpectedly funny and inspiring — and it actually made me want to (finally) read the book....
#ChanceItLA - This production is billed as a workshop, and it is indeed just that. However, Brad Griffith's energy and obvious love of this book is contagious. Over the course of an hour, with the help of a grid of note cards, Griffith gives the audience a cliff notes summation of all 1200+ pages of War & Peace. Complete with witty commentary and a rather versatile scarf that stands in for different costume pieces. The audience gets to join in by picking the cards and hissing whenever the villain is mentioned. This is not a show for everyone, but if your interest is piqued, check it out. I walked away wanting to read the book, so that says something....
You don't often get to see someone really indulge in their passion, and when you do, it's mesmerizing and magical. Brad does just that.
For 60 minutes in a frenzied race against the clock, Brad single handedly tackles explaining the plot points and characters and the opulence of Czarist Russia, and you can tell it is his passion.
I'm not a reader, but I love a good story - and after Brad captivating show, I kind of want to tackle the 1000+ pages of Tolstoy. That what Brad does though - he encourages us to read the book.. to really develop our own passion for Andre and Natasha and poor Helena and the evil Anatole (hissssssss)
GO see it. You will be better for it. ...
Can a single actor in 60 minutes tell the whole story of War and Peace? Truthfully no -- the book is after all over a thousand pages long. But Brad Griffith does a valiant job of delivering the key elements of the Tolstoyan epic. Working off pinned note cards, Griffith describes the main characters and the central story lines in speed reader fashion. Despite having to race against time, Griffith turns in a tour de force performance that Tolstoy himself might have enjoyed.